Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids that God can make anyone a special follower of His.
Needed: Bibles, drawing paper and crayons or colored pencils
Intro Game: Finding the Difference
Name three items that you can see. Two of them should be the same in a certain way (color, shape, material, etc.) and one should be different in that same way. The first student who calls out the difference gets to name the next three objects.
Play as long as time permits.
When you’re finished, explain that the third item was a regular item like the others, but it was special because it was different. We’re regular people, but God makes us special when we believe in Jesus. Our belief in Jesus makes us different from everyone else.
Read Matthew 10:1.
“Jesus called His twelve disciples to Him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.”
What did Jesus give the twelve disciples power to do? (To make demons leave people and to heal sick people.)
Well, if Jesus gave the twelve disciples the power to do things like that, let’s find out who the twelve disciples were.
(Read Matthew 10:2.)
“These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John;”
Peter, Andrew, James, and John. What were there jobs? Does anyone remember? (They were fishermen.)
Peter, Andrew, James, and John weren’t rich, and they didn’t go to college. They simply worked hard and went out on their boats and caught fish for people to eat.
(Read Matthew 10:3.)
“Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;”
Thomas. Does anyone know anything about Thomas?
After Jesus died, Thomas didn’t believe it when the rest of the disciples told him that Jesus had come back to life. He had to wait until he saw Jesus himself before he would believe it.
And what about Matthew? What does it say Matthew’s job was? (He was a tax collector.)
And remember that people didn’t like Matthew before he became a disciple because he used to charge people too much money in taxes and steal money from them.
(Read Matthew 10:4.)
“Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.”
Simon the Zealot. Someone who was a zealot was someone who wanted to fight and have a war against the Romans to make them leave Israel so that Israel could have its country back. He was a fighter.
And Judas Iscariot. Does anyone remember the bad thing Judas Iscariot did? (He betrayed Jesus by telling the priests where Jesus was so that they could arrest Him.)
So, some of the disciples were regular people, and some of them were even bad people. But Jesus made them all His disciples. He gave all of them a chance to follow Him. That’s because Jesus loves everyone, and He gives everyone in the world, no matter who they are or what bad things they’ve done, a chance to follow Him.
And the Bible says that Jesus gave them the power to drive out demons and heal people who were sick. The disciples were regular people, but Jesus gave them the power to do awesome, not-regular things. The disciples weren’t special by themselves. None of them had really good jobs or were rich or anything like that. But Jesus made them special when He made them His disciples and gave them power.
Jesus can make us special too. If we follow Jesus, then we’re special because we believe in God and Jesus, and Jesus will give us power.
What kind of power do you think Jesus will give you?
Jesus might not give you the power to heal sick people or to do other miracles like that, but He does give all of us power. He gives us the Holy Spirit to live inside of us, and the Holy Spirit gives us the power to do the right things instead of listening to the devil and doing wrong things. And the Holy Spirit also helps us to tell people about Jesus.
Those are the best powers of all, because when we do the right things and when we tell other people about Jesus, then that makes God happy with us.
Craft: God’s Super Heroes
Give students drawing supplies and have them draw a picture illustrating that God has given them the power to do right and spread His message.
Game: Power Up Freeze Tag
Divide the students into two teams. One team is It and tries to tag the members of the other team. When a student is tagged, they freeze in place. Every minute or so, a designated Power Up leader runs through the play area. If someone on the team being chased tags the Power Up leader, the leader shouts, “Power Up!” and the frozen students are back in the game. The roles also reverse, so that now they are It and the other team is running from them.
Explain that when we change to follow Jesus’ teaching, it’s like He gives us a power-up in our spirits.
Jesus, we’re just like Your disciples. We’re regular people and sometimes, we do bad things. But you can change us and use to do great things for You. Help us to feel the Holy Spirit inside our hearts and listen to Him. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, The Parables and Teachings of Jesus Vol. 1.